Top Ten Ways to Manage Interruptions
So many people I worked with said they got more work done at home than in the office. That was because there were so many interruptions in the office. In fact lots of people come in early or stay late just to have quiet time to work. One way to have that same quiet time during the day is to manage interruptions. Look for ways to create a "Power hour" of work time. Maybe this will allow you to get home earlier!
1. Email - shut off the audible alarm for email in your computer. Plan to check email two or three times a day. Allot time in your schedule for answering important email. Use a good spam filter and delete unnecessary email.
2. Telephone - Use voice mail message to let people know you will return their call at a particular time during the day. Let people who answer the phone for you know that you can not be interrupted. Give them specific instructions about what constitutes and emergency.
3. Staff - Help the staff to understand the reason you cannot be interrupted. Give them a time at which they can get their questions and issues answered. Use a "Do Not Disturb" sign on your door or some other signal so that staff understands you are not to be interrupted.
4. Colleagues - Use "Do Not Disturb" sign on door. Explain to colleagues that you are unreachable between certain hours. Be clear when they can talk with you. Set firm boundaries when people come in to "chat" with no clear business purpose.
5. Boss - This one is tricky. If you are working on a particular client matter, tell the manager about your deadline and the implications if you don't get the work done. If your deadline comes from the boss make a trade off of a later deadline to accommodate the interruption.
6. Internet - Be careful about being drawn in by the Internet. Doing some research on the net can lead to distractions like shopping or looking at interesting sites that are unrelated to your current project. The Internet can be a huge interruption while at the same time a necessity.
7. Other project - Sometimes when you are working on one project something you need to do on another pops into your head. Getting up to do the other can be a way of procrastinating. If you don't want to work on the project at hand something else that really does have to be done can be enticing. An example for me would be when I am working on a project and suddenly realize my plants need watering. Watering the plants at that moment is a big interruption. A way to deal with it is to make a note in my calendar to do it at another time.
8. Idea Flash - Funny how you can pause to think about something you are working on and suddenly you get a great idea about something else. If you have an idea notebook write it down and move on. No special notebook? Write it down somewhere so you can come back to it once you finish.
9. Messy office - A messy office can drain you of energy. Make sure the place you are working is relatively clear of unessential materials before you start working. Schedule a cleaning time on your calendar.
10. Hunger, need cigarette, bathroom - Take care of these needs before you begin your work. Any one of these can use up a whole morning because you pass other team members on your way to get food, a cigarette or to use the facilities and that can lead to conversation and distractions.
About Alvah Parker
Alvah Parker is a Business and Career Coach as well as publisher of Parker's Points, an email tip list and Road to Success, an ezine. To subscribe send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parker's Value Program© enables clients to find a way to work that is more fulfilling and profitable. She is both a Practice Advisor and Coach to attorneys, managers, business owners, sole practioners, and people in transition. Alvah is found on the web at www.asparker.com">http://www.asparker.com. She may also be reached at 781-598-0388
Turkey-US deal asks Kurdish forces to vacate designated âsafe zoneâ in northern Syria during five-day ceasefire
Recep Tayyip ErdoÄan, the Turkish president, has said his country would âcrush the headsâ of Kurdish militants if they did not withdraw from a planned âsafe zoneâ in northern Syria.
On Thursday following an intervention from the US, Turkey agreed to pause its military offensive in north-eastern Syria for five days while Kurdish fighters withdrew from the safe zone. Continue reading...
Quim Torra urges dialogue for democratic solution to tensions following fifth consecutive night of violence
Cataloniaâs president, Quim Torra, has called for talks with the Spanish government. Speaking on Saturday morning, Torra again condemned the violence of recent days, adding: âViolence has never been our flag.â
He urged talks with Spainâs acting government âto open a dialogue to find a democratic solution and a political and democraticâ way out of the crisis over regional independence. Continue reading...
- Match abandoned over alleged âdisgustingâ racist abuse
- Football Association âdeeply concernedâ, pledges action
The Football Association says it is âdeeply concernedââ after the FA Cup fourth-qualifying-round tie between Haringey Borough and Yeovil was abandoned following allegations that home players were racially abused.
Yeovil were leading 1-0 with just over an hour played when Haringeyâs players, under the direction of manager Tom Loizou, walked off the pitch. The initial target of the abuse was reported to be Haringeyâs goalkeeper Valery Pajetat. Continue reading...
Surveillance footage shows emotional moment when Keanon Lowe encountered student in Oregon city
A Portland, Oregon, school district has criticized the release of video footage that shows a high school football coach disarming a suicidal student, then hugging and comforting the teen.
The surveillance video, first obtained by the CBS affiliate KOIN 6 News, shows the Parkrose high school football coach Keanon Lowe encountering Angel Granados-Diaz, then 18. While Loweâs actions in the May incident had been extensively reported, the video provided visual documentation of his quick thinking and compassion. Continue reading...
A Christian party has quit Lebanonâs coalition government after more protests against tax rises and alleged corruption
A Lebanese Christian party quit the coalition government on Saturday after tens of thousands of people took to the streets for a third day of protests against tax increases and alleged official corruption.
After protesters marched in Beirut, Tripoli and other cities, the head of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea, said his group was resigning from the government. Continue reading...
Matteo Salviniâs League joins rightwing parties in âItalian prideâ protest
Thousands of Italians descended on Rome for a far-right rally labelled âItaly prideâ, evoking connotations to the âmarch on Romeâ held on 27 October 1922 that marked the fascist dictator Benito Mussoliniâs rise to power.
The rally on Saturday had been in the making since Matteo Salvini, the leader of the League, was spectacularly ousted from government in late August. Continue reading...
- Eddie Johnson says incident related to medication
- Mayorâs comments differ from first official explanation
The top police officer in Chicago told the mayor he had âa couple of drinks with dinnerâ before he fell asleep at a stop sign while driving home on Thursday, an incident the chief contends was related to a change in his blood pressure medication.
Superintendent Eddie Johnson did not mention having anything to drink when he spoke to reporters on Thursday night and a department spokesman said then officers who responded to a 911 call reporting a man asleep in a car at a stop sign did not observe any signs of impairment. Continue reading...
With a dire shortage of land for graves, the holy city is reviving an ancient custom of underground burial â with lift access, LED lighting and golf buggies
Cool air from deep inside the mountain lightly wafts through cavernous arched tunnels. Along the walls of the subterranean passages, rows of human-sized chambers have been dug into the rock. It is unmistakably a catacomb.
Yet this mass tomb is not a relic of the Roman empire. It was made with huge electric diggers, and the walls are lined with concrete. People will enter by lift, and those with limited mobility will be able to use a golf buggy to traverse the necropolis. Continue reading...
Green growth and âhedonistic sustainabilityâ have helped keep the public on board as the Danish capital seeks to reach its goal by 2025 â and so far itâs all going according to plan
âWe call it hedonistic sustainability,â says Jacob Simonsen of the decision to put an artificial ski slope on the roof of the ÂŁ485m Amager Resource Centre (Arc), Copenhagenâs cutting-edge new waste-to-energy power plant. âItâs not just good for the environment, itâs good for life.â
Skiing is just one of the activities that Simonsen, Arcâs chief executive, and Bjarke Ingels, its lead architect, hope will enhance the latest jewel in Copenhagenâs sustainability crown. The incinerator building also incorporates hiking and running trails, a street fitness gym and the worldâs highest outdoor climbing wall, an 85-metre ânatural mountainâ complete with overhangs that rises the full height of the main structure. Continue reading...
âIf cities are invited to be at the table, I believe they will help accelerate the work that needs to be doneâ said LA mayor Eric Garcetti
US mayors are seeking to go over President Trumpâs head and negotiate directly at next monthâs UN climate change conference in Santiago, they said as they met in Copenhagen for the C40 World Mayors Summit. Continue reading...
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, who rallied US mayors to commit to the Paris climate agreement after Trump announced his intention to withdraw the country in 2017, said he would ask the UN secretary general, AntĂłnio Guterres, on Thursday to give American cities a new role in UN climate talks.
âIâm going to bring it up with the UN secretary general,â Garcetti said. âIf cities are invited to be at the table, I believe they will help accelerate the work that needs to be done. Hopefully, we can do it in concert with our national governments, but [we can do it] even where there is conflict.â
Garcetti, who was announced on Wednesday as the next chair of the C40 group of global cities, said he would use his position to seek âa more formal role in the deliberationsâ at the conference.
âThe United Nations works directly with cities all the time ... so they shouldnât feel feel scared about jumping down to that local level,â he said.
It is cities, not national governments, that are most aggressively fighting the climate crisis â and in 30 years they could look radically different
She has barely ever been in a car, and never eaten meat or flown. Now 31, she lives on the 15th floor of a city centre tower from where she can just see the ocean 500 yards away on one side and the suburbs and informal settlements sprawling as far as the eye can see on the other.
Life is OK in this megacity. She earns the exact median income and is as green as she feels she can be: she has no children yet, her carbon footprint is negligible, and her apartment, built in the early 2000s, has been retrofitted for climate change with deep insulation, its own solar air-con and heating systems. Continue reading...
After water restrictions and emergency infrastructure, the final drought strategy is sheer perseverance
People have started visiting the outback town of Pooncarie just to see a place thatâs running dry.
Josh Sheard, the publican at the Pooncarie hotel, says the remote town in far south-west New South Wales needs the attention. Continue reading...
Youngsters, aged between 14 and 17, detained alongside 18-year-old over death of Clinton Evbota
Five youths have been arrested on suspicion of the murder of an 18-year-old man in south-east London on 10 October, police have said.
The youngsters, aged between 14 and 17, were detained alongside an 18-year-old man over the death of Clinton Evbota, who was stabbed to death on the Brandon Estate in Camberwell, south-east London. Continue reading...
Intricately carved coffins with mummies from 1000BC âbiggest such find in over a centuryâ
Egypt has revealed details of 30 ancient wooden coffins with mummies inside, which were discovered in the southern city of Luxor in the biggest find of its kind in more than a century.
A team of Egyptian archaeologists found a âdistinctive group of 30 coloured wooden coffins for men, women and childrenâ in a cache at Al-Asasif cemetery on Luxorâs west bank, the ministry of antiquities said in a statement on Saturday. Continue reading...
Environmentalist Jacqueline Evans says she was dismissed from the Marae Moana for urging caution on deep-sea mining
The public champion of the worldâs largest marine reserve â the Cook Islandsâ Marae Moana â has said she lost her job managing it because she supported a moratorium on seabed mining in the Pacific.
Six months ago, Jacqueline Evans won the Goldman Environmental prize â the worldâs foremost environmental award â for her work establishing Marae Moana (meaning âsacred oceanâ), which covers the Cook Islandsâ entire exclusive economic zone of more than 1.9m sq km. Continue reading...
Lambieâs vote will decide the fate of the medical evacuation laws the previous parliamentâs crossbench was instrumental in passing
She came in like a wrecking ball.
But Jacqui Lambie, the senator, has grown up. Continue reading...
MPs point to lack of progress on promised safeguarding improvements for whistleblowers and survivors
MPs have accused aid organisations of âdragging their feetâ over combating sexual exploitation and abuse in the sector, despite safeguarding pledges made in 2018 after the Oxfam abuse scandal.
Work to improve protection and support for whistleblowers has âstalledâ, and more needs to be done to protect survivors, a report by the UK international development committee (IDC) has said. Continue reading...
World Bank targets âlearning povertyâ as research shows major shortfall in basic reading skills among least privileged children
Nine out of 10 children in the worldâs poorest countries are unable to read a basic book by the age of 10 â a situation mirrored in reverse in rich countries, where only 9% cannot do so by the same age.
Data compiled by the World Bank and the UN also shows that when low- and middle-income countries are taken together â a total of 135 states â more than half of all children cannot read a simple text at 10 years old. Continue reading...
Mahamadou Issoufou calls for âresponsible parenthoodâ as he warns population boom will undermine climate adaptation
A misreading of Islam led to Nigerâs explosive birth rate, hampering the countryâs fight to adapt to the climate crisis and preserve its shrinking resources, the countryâs president has said.
This nexus of issues is likely to have an increasingly direct impact on European politics, said Mahamadou Issoufou, who warned warned that migration may exceed the levels it reached during the second world war. Continue reading...
An NGO has recut and overdubbed a Venezuelan telenovela to raise awareness of sexual health
Uganda has one of the highest birth rates in the world. It also has some of the most dedicated soap opera watchers anywhere in Africa.
Now a group of enterprising Ugandans is aiming to tackle the former through the medium of the latter. Soap operas are expensive to make, however, so they plan instead to âhackâ a Venezuelan import, recutting the existing series and overdubbing it with Ugandan actors. Continue reading...
Unqualified missionary denies she sought to portray herself as a doctor at centre where at least 105 children died
Zuriah Namutamba still has questions about how her grandson died. About whether the actions of a young American woman, a missionary without any medical training, contributed to Twalali Kifabiâs death.
Zuriah is not the only relative in Uganda demanding answers over the work of the US missionary organisation Serving His Children (SHC) and its founder, Renee Bach, who has now left the country. Continue reading...
The blunt words of Sydney archbishop Glenn Davies come at a critical moment for Australian churches and demands for religious freedom
For a man renowned for his civility, the language was blunt. During his annual speech to the Anglican Churchâs Sydney synod, Archbishop Glenn Davies told supporters of same-sex marriage to âplease leave usâ.
âMy own view is that if people wish to change the doctrine of our church, they should start a new church or join a church more aligned to their views,â he said. âBut do not ruin the Anglican Church by abandoning the plain teaching of scripture.â Continue reading...
I doubt thereâs any woman who hasnât had her strength rebranded as âaggressionâ â calling us âcrazyâ is a tired old trick
Sign up for The week in patriarchy, a newsletterâ on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday. Continue reading...
The public recoils, although sheep and cows are killed in identical fashion. But the racing industry has a serious case to answer too
The biggest trucks at any horse sale belong to the meat dealers. At the end of the day, once those awarded a second chance have been led away, the dealers open the remaining pens and run their unlucky purchases through the saleyard to the loading ramp.
Young, well-fed, well-muscled horses â such as thoroughbreds or standardbreds that have recently left the racing industries â are sent to export abattoirs in Peterborough, South Australia, or the Meramist abattoir in Caboolture, Queensland. The latter is currently being investigated for animal cruelty offences after footage aired on the ABCâs 7.30 program showed horses being shocked with electric prods, hit and kicked before slaughter. Continue reading...
The jailing of nine pro-independence Catalan leaders over their roles in the failed push for secession two years ago has sparked five nights of violent unrest in Barcelona and other areas of Catalonia. The region's president, Quim Torra, has called for talks with the Spanish government after a peaceful march and general strike was followed by further clashes between protesters and police Continue reading...
One might think the best color to describe Alabama would be red-brown, like its dirt, or loamy black like its best soil. Or white like its fences. Or any of the three, like its people. But blue is right. Blue skies, blue denim, blue faded scraps for quilts, the robinâs egg blue paint in portraits and on walls, muted and resilient. Blue is the hue of a fire so hot that its color has to turn cool. Continue reading...
Photographer Andrew Moore captures his view of the deep south state and its complicated legacy
People on a crowded underground platform in Buenos Aires came to the rescue of a woman who fell on to train tracks.
CCTV footage from PueyrredĂłn station shows the woman being knocked off the platform by a man who fainted. Passengers quickly responded by waving their hands to alert the train driver. They then jumped on to the tracks to help the woman after the train came to a halt Continue reading...
Intense fighting has erupted in the Mexican city of CuliacĂĄn, where masked gunmen threw up burning barricades and traded gunfire with security forces after authorities arrested one of the sons of the jailed former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel JoaquĂn 'El Chapo' GuzmĂĄn. The chaotic scenes in CuliacĂĄn, a long-time stronghold for the GuzmĂĄns' cartel, have increased pressure on President LĂłpez Obrador, who took office in December promising to pacify a country weary after more than a decade of drug-war fighting. Continue reading...
The Chilean capital, Santiago, has seen a significant roll-out of riot police after more than a week of mass fare evasion on the city's metro in protest over rising prices. Police and metro management said there had been more than 200 incidents of largely schoolchildren and students jumping barriers and forcing gates to access trains. Metro stations were closed or blocked and in some cases police responded with teargas and batons Continue reading...
The ex-defence secretary is laughing off an insult hurled at him by the US president. Speaking at a New York charity event a day after Trump demeaned him as âthe worldâs most overrated generalâ, Mattis joked that he took it as a compliment. âIâm honoured to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress,â he said. âSo I guess Iâm the Meryl Streep of generalsâ Continue reading...
Donald Trump said the US had to let Kurdish allies and Turkey 'fight a little while' before agreeing to a five-day ceasefire with Ankara. In a rally held in Texas, he said: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight like two kids in a lot, you gotta let them fight, and then you pull them apart.'
Turkey launched its cross-border offensive in northern Syria on 9 October following Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from the region Continue reading...